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It was the day of my college graduation and I was getting excited because my four years of school were coming to an end, but I was also a bit tired from long late nights of studying for finals and the nursing pinning ceremony the day before. I was excited to see Dmitriy that morning because he wasn't able to my pinning ceremony because he was on shift that day until the next morning. He had asked me about a month before my graduation what I wanted to do the evening of graduation and if I had planned anything and I said that I hadn't thought much about it, but it would be nice to go out to dinner with my family or at least with my sister and brother-in-law that were coming to visit and celebrate with me. Dmitriy suggested that we go up to Longview, WA were he worked to have dinner there and maybe take a walk by the beautiful lake there and take some gorgeous pictures. I liked the idea and said that I would most certainly be up for that. As time was getting closer to graduation my sister and I began making plans for her visit and she really wanted to go up to Canada because her husband has never been up there and it was pretty close to us. I liked the idea and talked to Dmitriy about it and knew he would love the idea also because we had a lot of history in Victoria, Canada. (I got my promise ring there and it is an entirely different story, almost as long and well planned out as the proposal itself. J ) As time was getting closer to the graduation and we began talking about plans for that weekend I got a suspicion that Dmitriy might be planning something in Canada, maybe the proposal, but it was just a brief thought and I let it go because there wasn't enough for me to speculate that.
The night before graduation, Dmitriy was on shift and texted me very late and asked me again if I was okay with going up to Longview after the graduation to take some pictures by the lake and have dinner. I said I would definitely love to do that and then he tells me that we don't have to if I don't want to or if I want to do something more local. That was the end of that conversation and I didn't see Dmitriy until we were getting ready to leave to my school. Everything was going as usual and the one of the things Dmitriy said about the plans for the evening is that he had to stop by work (the Longview Fire Department) to sign his timesheet because he had forgotten to do it the day before when he was on shift. I thought it was very weird and remember asking him how he could forget to do that, but it made sense since it was the begging of the month and he was thinking about graduation and all that he would forget to do that so I let it go.
After the gradation ceremony my family drove over to a near by rose garden to take a few nice pictures while I was still all dressed up in my cap and gown. My brother in law who is a professional wedding videographer also enjoys taking pictures so he was having a fun time doing that for us. After a short while at that park my sister, brother-in-law, Dmitriy and I got ready to head up to Longview and on our way there Dmitriy again reminded me that we had to stop by the Fire station for him to sign his timesheet. I offered to wait for him in the car while he did that so we would drive over to the lake together and take pictures together, but he instead that we go ahead as it might get dark quickly and he said that someone from the department would drop him off since the Fire station and the Lake were very close to each other. I was a little hesitant at first because I wanted to be with him, but went ahead with what he said and drove to the lake with my sister and brother in law and started taking "graduation" pictures with the cap and gown and all. I was starting to get very cold and begged my brother in law to go back to the car and wait for Dmitriy in the car because we had plenty of pictures and I was freezing, but Alex insisted that we take more pictures because he was getting "some amazing shots with beautiful colors and lighting." About a minute later, I see a fire truck with lights and sirens driving closer to the lake and at first I thought that it might be Dmitriy in there, but then I didn't think that he would do that and plus there was a hospital within a walking distance of where I was so I thought that they were out on a call with lights and sirens. Then the truck pulled right next to the lake up in a little hill from where I was standing. As the stopped, Dmitriy came out first in his uniform (he had changed because he was just wearing dress clothes when we dropped him off) and then the rest of the crew (4 other firefighters) came out with a large white tube. I remember seeing it because it was so big and I wasn't sure why they had it in there hands. I then immediately began walking toward Dmitriy and he was walking towards me and told me to turn around and go back to the little island on the lake and we walked there together. When I fist saw everything I immediately thought that he had planned this all for my graduation and I even said "how sweet! What a cute graduation gift!" Little did I know and still in my graduation mode ...As Dmitriy and I walked closer to the lake I turned around and saw that the long tube that the fire fighters were holding was actually a huge poster and all I saw at first was "VICTORIA," but they were not done yet. At that moment I still thought that the rest would say "CONGRATUALTIONS" on graduation of course. But when I saw the rest the entire thing it said, "?VICTORIA KARPENKO? J" (Which is Dmitriy's last name). I'm not sure when it all hit me, but what felt like seconds later, Dmitriy was telling me how much he loved me and wants me to be his wife and was down on one knee with a little blue box and big shiny ring and was asking me if I wanted to be his wife. I was in such shock that he apparently had to ask twice because I didn't answer right away. I of course said, "YES, I would love to be his wife!" He slipped the ring on my finger and it was just perfect! We then drove in the fire truck to the station as my sister and brother-in-law followed in their car. Dmitriy's coworkers were all very thrilled for us and had an ice cream cake waiting for us at the station. It's a story I will never forget and can't wait to keep sharing it with everyone I know.
The entire proposal and the preparation that went into the proposal are all on video because my wonderful brother-in-law knew about the plan long time ago and had it all planned out with Dmitriy. When he saw the fire truck pull up to the lake, he immediately switched from his camera to a video camera so he can take it all and make a clip out of it. That is why he was insisting that we continue taking pictures because he was getting "great shots!" It all made sense to me later, but I can't believe I didn't pick up on all the clues ... I was way too caught up in school, finals, and of course the graduation which later did not matter at all because all I could think about was the proposal.
Dmitriy didn't really forget to sign his timesheet ....
Dmitriy said we didn't have to go to Longview the night before his "big plan" because he "knew me too well" and knew that I would not change the plans so suddenly ...
Alex, my brother-in-law was not really getting "amazing shots," he was just trying to take up time so that "the plan" would work out.
My sister had no clue about any of this and was shocked herself.
Our wedding is planned for May 21, 2011. Let the good times begin!
The video of our proposal can be found at http://vimeo.com/11642861
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I only have two pictures right now.
I think she was so stunning in her dress that everybody looked a her and forgot to take pictures :-)
If you are curious, our facebook have the picture posted already and the website will have it soon.
thanks again and I'll send a better picture as soon as I received it.
So Miranda, tell us about your experience at Best for Bride.
It's been phenomenal. I have come in. I did not really have much an idea of what I wanted. The girls were able to pick off the shelves, kind of twick what my preferences were and tell me what body shape was going to work best for me.
In general, they were just totally patient with me. The whole experience was phenomenal and I cannot wait to come back and be fitted for my dress.
Wonderful, thank you so much.
So today I tried on a lot of different dresses. Everyone had a lot of patience with me since there are were a lot of dresses. It's was a lot of fun though, it's really relaxed atmosphere, it was nice, I felt comfortable here and we had a lot of fun and laughs and jokes. It was really great and I FOUND MY DRESS.
That's great and congratulations and what did you think?
I loved it and I love this atmosphere. It's really really comfortable area to be and it's nice to be here with my sister.
How was your experience at Best For Bride today?
It was wonderful. We have been here for 3 hours and we had the best service and my daughter has ... is all set she can't decide which one and the people here the two consultants have just been very wonderful and have been so patient and encouraging and we recommend everybody come here and don't go anywhere else.